Schools across Guyana will open their doors on Monday for the new school year. If the current strike action by teachers across the country continues into next week, the Education Ministry has announced that its contingency plan will be put in place.
That plan includes the placement of retired teachers and trainee teachers in the classrooms.
But as the countdown to the reopening of school begins, many teachers appear undecided about whether they will go into the classrooms.
For those who are undecided and thinking about going against the strike action, the General Secretary of the Guyana Teachers Union, Coretta McDonald wants them to know that they will be fully responsible for the schools and all that takes place in the schools during the strike.
Speaking at an afternoon press conference today at the GTU Headquarters, she said “I would want to say to the headteachers and teachers who are going to be venturing out into schools, let me make it known that when you go to school, if you have three teachers there, then the responsibility is that of the three teachers who are present to ensure that the people’s children are taken care of and if anything should happen during that period, then you might have to go to the Minister of Education, to seek recourse in whatever may have happened there”.
She said once they accept the keys for the schools, then they have to take on the responsibilities of being in charge.
The General Secretary said her warning should not be seen as a threat, but those boycotting the strike need to fully understand their responsibilities.
“All we are saying is that the union would have issued a call and if you are going against the union, then the responsibility is yours to take care of whatever is happening there and so if things happen then you will have to deal with it at your level”.
She said it will be up to parents whether they want to send their children to school to be supervised by trainee teachers and retirees, but she has already made a decision that once the strike continues into the new week, her child will be staying at home.